New build. Advice please?

A proposed replacement desktop PC for my existing laptop to run DCS on my Reverb g2. Cash obviously comes into it, but looking through the correspondence on the components for a good DCS desk top I am considering this specification. The 3080ti seems much the same as a 3090 and the i7 runs as well as the i9. Have I missed anything?

Should anything be upgraded/downgraded?

Please tell me I am wrong before I blow a lot of cash? I will continue to use my hi spec laptop for other computer tasks and the new pc will be almost exclusively for DCS and MSFS in VR

1x Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X D4 Motherboard
1x Noctua NH-D15S CPU Cooler
1x Intel Core i7-12700K CPU, 3.6 - 5.0GHz
1x 32GB Corsair Vengeance LPX Black DDR4 3200MHz Memory (2 x 16GB Sticks)
1x NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB GDDR6X Graphics Card
1x 500GB Samsung 980 PRO M.2 PCIe Gen 4 Solid State Drive
1x 2TB Samsung 870 QVO Solid State Drive
1x Pre-Install Cabling for Additional Solid State Drive
1x Corsair RM850 80 PLUS Gold 850W PSU
1x Windows 11 Home Standard
1x Fractal Design Meshify 2 Case - Black

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This Heatsink is a beast, I have it too- or the previous model.

Make absolutely sure that it doesn’t cover the RAM slots! I made that mistake and had to physically rip the RAM covers.

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It would be professionally built for me. I lack the skills to build my own.

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You only THINK you do. It’s actually quite fun and not at all difficult. But I applaud letting somebody else earn some holiday cash.

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I know I do. Six thumbs each hand.

Well, pass that list to whomever has to build it and make sure to tell them to check if the CPU heatsink fits.

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I think that looks good, and is a well balanced build. The M2 is a tad small (1 TB is more usual and probably not much more), but the SSD makes up for it. The Noctura cooler is very good.

The cutting edge is DDR5 memory, but not really worth the extra, due to shortages/newness tax.

If not z690/i7 then you’re looking at AMD stuff, and I have less experience with that. It might be better value but I don’t have the data to quantify it. What you’ve picked will work great though.

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Thanks. I designed a dream machine where cost was not a factor starting with a RTX3090 . I then had a long chat with the firm that built my laptop. They came back to me with the above spec saying it would more than do what I needed but that it would be £1500 cheaper. Cash is obviously a significant factor but DCS is now my replacement for flying for a living, so my wife would release the cash if we needed to. It would come with a five year warranty and I like the computers I have seen them build, including my laptop. Now I just have to wait for the January sales.

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The 3080 Ti vs 3090 is a bit of a wash outside of synthetic benchmarks, e.g. RTX 3080 Ti vs RTX 3090 - Test in 10 Games l 4K l - YouTube even in VR.

Will the shop overclock that i7 a bit? That would help DCS especially, and you have a good cooler to be able to do it.

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great build I would say

I will maybe go for even smaller M2 SSD 256GB just for Win+ProgFiles and change that 2TB plain SSD to 2TB M2 SSD.

but cant say if M2 SSD is that faster than plain SSD.

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The M2 is rated as 6,900 MB/s read, 5,000 MB/s write, with an upgrade to the 1TB from 512 GB and about £30 more.

That SSD isn’t a speedy one, and rated at 560 MB/s read, 530 MB/s write, so a different order of performance down. A lot of the time we are talking about 5 seconds to boot Windows rather than 7 (disk isn’t the bottleneck), but for bigger games (and they are all getting bigger…) it does make a difference somewhat.

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I agree, thats why the 2TB M2 could be good option with assumption that it is enough for all your sims @Scoop

…I have it like this in my PC:
0.5TB M2 SSD (Win, ProgFiles, steam MSFS)
1TB M2 SSD (XP11, IL2, DCS)
2TB external SSD for anything else

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It is funny how quickly the ‘disk’ landscape changed. The order now seems to be ‘get the biggest PCI 4 based M2 you can, as you’ve only got two slots’, then ‘Treat SSDs like your used to treat spinny mechanical drivers - good for slow or dont-care-about-speed storage’. SATA sort of became the bottleneck, even at 6 Gbps across channels.

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I’ll geek over the CPU cooler a bit here, as I went through this exercise in detail when I built my computer. I wanted good air cooling and a compact case, so this ended up being a factor. I got it right, but it did require a bit of thinking and a compromise of sorts.

NH-D15S is the better fitting version, it should be okay but yes, do get the clearance checked.

I had to go with the asymmetric NH-D15S in the single fan configuration to provide RAM clearance. In single fan configuration you get 65mm RAM clearance which is heaps - they have effectively shaped the lowest part of the radiator such that you have lots of space.

You can add a second fan if you want (bought separately), but that goes above the RAM slots and if the second fan is installed at the same height as the first, you only get 32mm RAM clearance - only enough for a handful of low profile RAM modules (Corsair LPX and such) which might be an issue if you can’t get the RAM you want in the profile you want.

The solution is to fit the second fan higher - it just clips on the radiator so you can fit it at different heights - but that means you need to check the case specifications and “CPU cooler max height” in particular.

In my compact case, the overall heat sink stack height had to be under 169mm so it doesn’t hit the left side wall of the PC. I might just be able to fit a second fan higher, but I only have 1-2mm to spare so if I got my math wrong the fan would be pushing against the top of the RAM once the case is closed - not good.


I didn’t have the RAM attached when I took this pic, but you can see the RAM slots and the cutout on the radiator stack to provide clearance. If you add a second fan, it goes on side that’s facing the camera here (i.e. above the RAM slots) and reaches down to the same height as the first fan (32mm from the mobo).

TL:DR: I recommend NHD-15S over NH-D15. Don’t bother with a second fan unless you have heaps of headroom as that can bring complexity - single fan is ample for cooling.

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This is the only bit that concerns me. Is it not better to get an I9 and not worry about the overclocking? As it will be probably me that has to do that (gladly obviously) for him anyway the point is moot anyway but i Still think an I9 if your gonna spend that sort of dough anyway

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That i7 has an unlocked multiplier (the K at the end of 12700K) so is just as easy to overclock than an i9. The i9 brings more physical cores (16 vs 12), but unless you do a lot of video or model work then usually an i7 is plenty enough and might not be worth the price difference. The Alder Lake series also boost to 5 GHz themselves stock as well (the newest i9 goes to 5.2), so any additional overclocking will just be unlocking the other cores to do that as well (if needed).

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It’s all looking great but go for a bigger m.2 dri e IMHO
Also with regard cooling and overclocking
Compare an all in one liquid cooling solution with your chosen heatsink cooler.
There will be software ships with the mobo that will overclock for you and a BIOS option to use a factory overclock with one mouse click.
Good luck with it mate

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